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Country star John Rich, of Big & Rich, said he played the Route 91 Harvest music festival shortly before Stephen Paddock killed more than 50 and wounded hundreds in Las Vegas.

Rich said he was onstage a few acts before Jason Aldean's set was interrupted by tragedy, and that he had gone to a bar he owns nearby to play in a more intimate setting.

He said that when news of the shooting broke, an off-duty Minneapolis police officer kept watch on the bar door as Rich and his fans barricaded themselves inside.

He called the other police and paramedics' actions "nothing short of impressive."

"First responders activated instantaneously on this deal," he said. 

Rich said he heard from people at the festival that the stage was cleared as soon as it was evident they were under fire, and that people were jumping in the beds of pickup trucks to get away from the scene.

He said that D.J. Silver, who plays with Aldean, could not get in touch with his infant son for some time after the massacre, adding that the boy was staying in the room adjacent to Paddock's.

"You actually need to pray," Rich said, in reflecting on the massacre. "I would expect a really strong response out of all of country music."

Watch more above.


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